Sea Grant Personnel Help Fishermen Navigate TAA
Feburary 24, 2011
Louisiana fishermen who registered for the federal Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) program during the fall of 2010 still have until March 23 to complete their initial training. The payoff could be as much as $12,000 per person.
TAA is including shrimp and catfish as approved commodities this cycle. The federal program is designed to aid commodity producers – such as farmers and fishermen – who have suffered losses due to imports. Almost 2,300 Louisiana shrimpers and catfish farmers who experienced losses in 2008 qualified for TAA.
“It’s important that shrimpers follow through with TAA regulations and requirements if they want to receive compensation,” said Rex Caffey, Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU AgCenter economist. “Fishermen can qualify for up to $12,000. And that’s not limited to one person per household.
“If an applicant can prove economic risk to a spouse or child who, for example, is a co-owner in the business, then they could also be compensated up to $12,000. So TAA can have a substantial impact on many of the state’s fishing families,” Caffey added.
Fishermen who qualified for TAA – had an active commercial fishing license, harvested shrimp during the 2008 calendar year, and met other requirements – were contacted through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries about the program.
“The deadlines for applying have ended,” said Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter economist and TAA coordinator for the state. “The first application period ended in September and the second on Dec. 23. Shrimpers who applied during the second round have until March 23 to complete their initial orientation training in order to continue to the next stages of the program.”
Producers who applied and were approved under the first signup period had to complete the initial orientation component by Dec. 22, 2010. A total of 17 workshops were held throughout the state in November and December to make training opportunities available to fishermen.
In all, there are four steps.
Step Two entails 12 hours of intensive technical training which can be taken in a classroom or online. The third step is preparing an initial business plan and having it approved by the TAA program. The fourth and final step is developing a long-term business plan with the assistance of the National TAA Center at the University of Minnesota.
“After the first three steps are completed, fishermen can receive up to $4,000 in compensation. If a shrimper wants to receive up to an additional $8,000, then he or she must continue to the program’s final step,” said Guidry.
“The intent of this training is to help Louisiana shrimp harvesters become more efficient and competitive for international marketing,” added Caffey.
Information on TAA can be found at http://taaforfarmers.org/TAAoverview.aspx.
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